LiteFighters. A single-seat Light Sport ready fighter for the modern pilot. Designed to be safe and fun for the pilots of varying experience levels and ability. A step-up in performance for the average GA pilot.
Our goal with LiteFighters is to make a sweet little fighter replica based on our modular concept that can be built quickly, keeps tools to a minimum, and uses low-cost components to keep the overall aircraft affordable. Pull-rivet construction throughout makes assembly a snap. 65-140 horsepower engines are generally affordable and commonly available. The truss frame makes it easy for anyone to layout and build an accurate frame. The large cockpit dimensions (same as an RV-8) are designed to fit REAL sized aviators. Large, small, short and tall. Features like folding wings and accurate scale retracting gear are omitted to keep things as straightforward as possible.
If one is looking for a simple, light, single seat tractor style monoplane, but also thinks it would be cool if it looked like a fighter from WW2, the LiteFighter may well be the best option to come around in a long time. If you're one looking for an ultimate performance aircraft that can tuck in the gears and open up for some fast aerobatics, the LiteFighters may not be the ideal thing for you. Don’t get us wrong, these will be very fun machines - speedy and capable of mild aerobatics. Just the kind of flying the weekend warrior will want to do. The LiteFighter aerodynamics are driven by requirements such as: low stall speed with gentle stall characteristics, high climb rate, great speed for the power, excellent maneuverability and fun scale airframe.
"Modular" Core Airframe
ScaleBirds designs are based on a structural core airframe with Airskins being 'hung' on the outside primarily for aesthetic and aerodynamic purposes. This allows us to develop the core components and structure once, and offer many models of warbird that fit the same frame. But from a builder standpoint, it allows a quick and simple build to give you a frame that is square and true, and so that the bulk of the aircraft can be built and assembled before closing it off with the skins. This type of construction was popular leading up to WWII and it worked then and works now. There are advantages to other methods of building, but, for the homebuilder without a factory to support them, it's hard to beat the truss frame.
Removable Outer Wings
The ScaleBirds aircraft will use a 3-section wing, with removable outboard wings that attach to a carry-though center section. All fuel and gear will be contained in the center section, so removing the outer wings will only require disconnecting the aileron tubes, lighting, and a few bolts in the spars.
Fixed or Retractable Gear
Landing Gear will be able to be fixed for all LiteFighters, in order to keep the design light, reliable, affordable, and to comply with US Light Sport requirements. Retractable gear will likely be available for some models as an option. The current design is for electric actuation that overcomes mechanical emergency extension struts.
What kind of warbird would be complete without a set of machine guns, bombs, and belts of ammo? The LiteFighters will have guns blisters and other armament details, even if they're just for show.
The LiteFighters are designed for a variety of available aircraft engines, from 65 to 140hp. The in-line fighters like the P40 will be based on the Viking 130, AeroMomentum and the Rotax 912UL, while radial powered models will be geared towards the Verner 5Si or 7U engines. This will not preclude other popular options such as: Continentals, VW, Jabiru, various 2-stroke options, the D-motor, as well as other auto conversions such as the Suzuki G engines with redrives. Heavier engines with more power will likely not be a good fit for this configuration. The wing design and weight and balance dictate the best performance characteristics.